Selected Biographies of Washington County Citizens
Transcibed by Louise M. Jackson (dec.)
Jacob Baxter, a farmer, was born in Rockingham County, Va., on November 8, 1816, is the son of Jacob and Catherine (Rhine) Baxter, natives of Maryland. But little is known of his ancestors. At the age of nineteen he left his paternal roof, and began hauling goods from Winchester, Va., to Bristol, Tenn. In 1847 he came to Washington County and purchased a farm containing 295 1/2 acres, where he now resides. His orchard contains an apple tree one hundred years old, ten feet eight inches in circumference. In the yard is a walnut tree eleven feet six inches in circumference. On Sept. 17, 1851, he married Sarahphinah Shannon, born March 17, 1828, daughter of Elijah and Eliza Shannon, natives of this county. Elijah died May 6, 1857; his widow, who is eighty-one years old, is still living. He was the son of John and Rebecka Shannon; his father was a native of the ocean, born while his parents were crossing to America from Ireland. In early manhood he came to Nollichucky, Washington County, and purchased a farm. Soon thereafter, he married Rebecka Erwin, who resided near the place now know as Erwin, county seat of Unicoi. Her mother, when a child, was stolen by the Indians, and left with a Stewart family, with whom she lived until married, not being found by her parents until after marriage. Jacob Baxter and wife are Presbyterian and Methodist, respectively. They had eight children; Hubert, Laura, Kittie, George, Elbridge, Frank, Willie and Lulu; the eldest three of whom are dead. Those living have received a thorough training in college. He is a trustee of Washington College, and is a conservative Democrat.
John L. Blair, farmer, was born at Jonesboro, Tenn., March 23, 1823, the son of John and Mary (Chester) Blair. The father, a native of this county, was born September 18, 1790, the son of John, Sr., a native of Ireland, who was a pioneer farmer of East Tennessee, and a soldier of the Revolution. He died in this county in 1799. The father is a prominent man of East Tennessee: was educated at Washington College, and was for fourteen years a member of Congress. He was a merchant a good share of his life, and in all ways an able man. On August 7, 1812, he married Mary H., a daughter of William Chester, at Jonesboro. She was born in Washington County, May 12, 1797. Their children are Mary C., Susan K., Elizabeth P., William P., John L., Andrew J., Alexander A., Robert L., Francis L., and Sara E. P. She died November 11, 1872, and the father March 22, 1863. Both were Presbyterians. Our subject was reared in Jonesboro, where he was educated, and has devoted his life to farming and merchandising. August 12, 1856, he married Mary J., a daugher of Thomas J. Cox. She was born in Washington County, March 17, 1838. Their children are Robert A., born June 24, 1857; Susan C., born August 17, 1859; Albert S., born November 27, 1861; Mary C., born Sept. 2, 1865; and John M., born June 5, 1874. He and his wife are Presbyterians, and are representatives of old families of East Tennessee.
A. B. Bowman, clerk and master of chancery court, was born near Johnson City, January 12, 1853, the son of John H. and Rebecca (Smith) Bowman, the former born near Blue Plum (now Johnson City) January 9, 1809, the son of Joseph and Mary (Hoss) Bowman. Joseph, born in 1784, in Virginia, was of the Bowman family which came from Pennsylvania to Virginia, and then to Washington County. The father was a carpenter, and assisted in building the Jonesboro courthouse and other buildings. In 1835 he returned to the vicinity of his birth, and two years later engaged in merchandising. In 1860, after the building of the railroad, he was the second man to open a store in Johnson City. He was a prominent man, and was honored with the nomination for the Legislature, but declined. He died January 19, 1874. The mother was born near Elizabethton, Tenn., January 10, 1816, the daughter of Caleb and Elizabeth (Doren) Smith. Her father’s brother was a colonel, and with five sons fought under Gen. Putnam in the battle of Cow Pens, where three of his sons were killed. Caleb came to Tennessee between 1790 and 1800. The mother was a sister of the late Chancellor H. C. Smith, and aunt of present Chancellor John P. Smith, and a cousin of Oliver Smith, author of Smith’s Grammar. She died April 15, 1873. Our subject received an academical education, and August 1, 1873, when but twenty years of age, became postmaster at Johnson City, and April 1, 1875, resigned to take charge of his father’s estate, of which he was appointed executor. In 1878 he became an unsuccessful candidate for representative on the Republican ticket, and again two years later, the latter time defeated by only 46/100 of a vote. In 1882 he declined the nomination conferred on him, and December 7 of that year was appointed to his present position. Four years he served on the county Republican executive committee, and for two years was president of the county agricultural society. In 1880 he engaged in the fruit canning business, with his brother-in-law, J. C. Mooman, of Cloverdale, Va., but since 1883 has been sole proprietor of that flourishing establishment at Johnson City. He is a broad and liberal man. September 22, 1880, Mary, a daughter of Robert and Louisa (De Vault) Rankin, became his wife. She was born near Greeneville, Tenn., September 5, 1853. He and his wife are Presbyterians, and he is an elder. Through his grandmother on his father’s side he is related to Daniel Boone, the pioneer.
Joseph B. Bowman was born September 30, 1832, on the farm where he has since resided. He received a common-school education, which he has since greatly improved, and was thrown upon his own resources when eighteen years old. He inherited some property from his father, but has more than doubled in amount what he inherited. He owns a fine farm of 185 acres where he resides, besides a valuable mill property and other tracts of land in the county. He was married in 1855 to Miss Susanna, a daughter of Emanuel and Martha (Garber) Arnold, natives of Rockingham County, Va., where Mrs. Susanna Bowman was born. To Mr. and Mrs. Bowman five children have been born: Rebecca, Catherine (now Mrs. A. B. White), Emanuel A., Samuel J., Mary Susan and John P. Mr. and Mrs. Bowman and children, execpt the youngest child, are members of the German Baptist Church. Mr. Bowman is a minister of the gospel and ordained elder in that church. Mr. Bowman is a Republican in politics, and during the late war was a strong Union man. He is the youngest of nine children of Joseph and Christianna(Beam) Bowman, natives of Rockingham County, Va. Mr Bowman came to Washington County, Tenn., when quite young, and when grown returned to Virginia, married in 1819, and returned to the farm where his son now resides, where he died. He began life for himself, a poor man, and by his splendid practical business ability accumulated considerable property. He was a house carpenter by trade, and ranked with the best of his calling. Himself and wife were members of the German Baptist Church. He was a deacon in the church. Mr. and Mrs. Bowman were of German descent, and they were educated in the German tongue. He was a son of Jacob Bowman, and old resident of Rockingham County, Va., where he died. He was a member of the German Baptist Church. He followed farming very successfully all of his life, and was considered one of the leading farmers of his day. The farm Mr. J. B. Bowman resided on was entered in 1780, by Samuel Fair, and Mr. Bowman’s father was the second man to own the land, which has since been owned by the Bowmans.
Stephen A. Bovell, farmer and teacher, was born in Washington County, Tenn., at Brownsboro, May 3, 1842, the son of W. W. and Minerva G. (Tyler) Bovell, the former born in Abingdon, Va., October 13, 1809, the son of Rev. Stephen Bovell, a native of Pennsylvania, and of French descent. The father was educated in Washington College, and after three years of medical study began practice, but is now retired from his successful career in medicine. In 1829 he married Easter M. Doak, who died August 10, 1835, and March 29, 1838, he married the mother of our subject, the daughter of William Tyler. She died October 16, 1880. aged sixty-two years. Our subject is her only living child. He was educated at Washington College and at Princeton, N. J. His life has been devoted to farming, teaching and the newspaper business. December 29, 1882, he married S. A. Waddill, and Mary E. is their only child. Our subject has contributed among other to the following journals: The Jonesboro Union Flag, The Jonesboro Herald and Tribune, Jonesboro Times, Nashville Daily Press and Times, The Tennessee State Journal, The Nashville American and The Louisville Commercial.
J. J. Brown, farmer and merchant, was born in Washington County February 23, 1840, the son of Bird and Louisa R. (Sevier) Brown. The father, a successful farmer, was born in this county, October 20, 1801, the son of Jacob Brown, a native of Tennessee,and born in December, 1736, and was a son of Jacob Brown, Sr., a native of North Carolina, and an early settler and merchant of East Tennessee, whose biography you will find in Ramsey’s History of Tennessee. He was of English stock, and died March 24, 1886. The mother, a daughter of John Sevier, a son of Gov. Sevier, was born in Greene county, November 21, 1816, and died May 20, 1842. Our subject and Sophia L. are their only children. J. J. was educated at Fall Branch Seminary and has devoted himself to farming and milling. January 1, 1866, he married Ester E., a daughter of Thomas J. Wilson. They have had six sons and two daughters. He and his wife are Methodists of the Southern Branch. He is a Master Mason and a Democrat.
Walter P. Brownlow was born at Abingdon, Va., March 27, 1851, the son of Joseph A. and Mary R. (Barr) Brownlow, the former born in 1810, on Cripple Creek, Wythe Co., Va., the son of Joseph A., Sr., a native of Rockingham County, Va. Joseph Jr., and two brothers learned the carpenter’s trade with an uncle in Abingdon, Va., and William G., one of these became governor and United States senator for Tennessee; and Alexander died in Johnson City, Tenn., in 1883. Joseph, Sr., was a carpenter in Virginia, and spent one year in Nashville. He was an able and broad-minded man, and died August 15, 1861. The mother, a daughter of Dr. W. F. Barr, was born in North Carolina, and now lives in Abingdon, where her father practiced. Our subject was a messenger boy in the Abingdon telegraph office after his father’s death, but when only thirteen he joined Company D. Eighth Federal Tennessee Cavalry, but was refused muster on account of his age. After the war he served an apprenticeship at the tinner’s trade with his brother at Rogersville, and was engineer on the Rogersville & Jefferson Railroad, and, although inexperienced, was successful. In 1873 he became collector for the southern agents of the Wheeler & Wilson Sewing Machine Company, and a year later became general manager for East Tennessee and Northern Georgia, with office located at Knoxville. In 1876 he entered politics as a special reporter for the Knoxville Daily Chronicle, traveling with A. H. Pettibone, H. S. Foot and Emerson Etheridge, and reporting their speeches during their canvass; and on October 28, he bought the Herald and Tribune, at Jonesboro, and became editor and proprietor. In 1880 he became chairman of the campaign committee of the First Congressional District, and was elected delegate to the Chicago National Convention. In 1881 he became postmaster at Jonesboro, and in December of the same year he was elected door-keeper of the Lower House of the XLVII Congress, serving two years. In 1882 he became chairman of the Republican State Committee, and in 1884 chairman of the First District Congressional Committee, and delegate at large to the Chicago National Convention, where he was unanimously elected by the Tennessee delegation as one of the National Republican Committee. Since February 15, 1885, he has been superintendent of the United States Senate folding room. On January 7, 1870, at the age of nineteen, he married A. Holbach, at that time principal of the music department of the Rogersville Female College, a native of Charlotteville, Va., the daughter of John P. and Ellen W. Holbach. All but one of their six children are living.
Robert Burrow, superintendent of the Tennessee penitentiary and a prominent lawyer, was born in Elizabethtown, Tenn., April 5, 1857, the son of James A. and Elizabeth (Carty) Burrow, the former born in Sullivan County, in October 1823, the son of Robert Burrow, of Virginia, a pioneer of the above county. James was a resident of Elizabethtown and at Bristol after the war. He is at present a recorder in that city. The mother was born in Montgomery County, Va., June 14, 1823, the daughter of Rev. John Carty, a Methodist, and now a resident of Bristol. Our subject, the third child, was reared in Elizabethtown and Bristol, and was educated at King’s College, and in 1877 read law with Col. N. M. Taylor, being admitted in November, 1878, his license being signed by Judges Hacker and Smith. He began practice in Bristol, but since 1883 he has been at Johnson City and in partnership with Gov. Robert Taylor, until the latter became United States pension agent. He (Gov. Taylor) and Nathanial Love established the Johnson City Comet, in 1884, in which he is still interested. In 1880 he became a county elector, and in 1882 he was nominated for the Legislature, but defeated. In 1884 he was a Cleveland elector, and in 1886 made a vain race for attorney general. He was made chairman of the executive committee of the First Congressional District, and April 15, 1887, he was appointed to his present position. On November 20, 1883, Belle, a daughter of Henry Lyle, became his wife, born in 1860. They have had two childlren. She is a Methodist.
John C. Campbell, merchant, was born at Sneedville, Tenn., March 16, 1853, the son of Robert and Elizabeth (Stubblefield) Campbell, the former a native of the same place, born January 10, 1816. The parents of Alexander, the next ancestor, were natives of Virginia, and pioneers of Hawkins County, Tenn., while he was born near Rogersville, about 1790. A son of his was killed by the Indians. Alexander erected the first house in Sneedville, and was a prominent magistrate of his county many years. He served in the Indian war of about 1814, and died in 1869. Robert was a farmer, and is now living in Washington County. He is the eldest of three brothers, Robert, Joseph and I. W. H. T. Campbell, second son of I. W., was elected one year ago to the office of attorney-general for the First Judicial District of the State, at the age of twenty-six. The mother was born in Rockingham County, N. C. in 1825, the daughter of Robert and Polly Stubblefield, who settled in Hawkins (now Hancock) County. Our subject is the seventh of eleven children. William and Alexander, brothers, served in Company E, Eighth Tennessee Cavalry, as non-commissiond officers. William was county clerk two terms, also, and served eight years as circuit clerk of Hancock County. Our subject grew up at Sneedville and finished his education at Buffalo Institute (now Milligan College), near Johnson City. From 1880 he was a Republican trustee of Hancock County for two years, but since 1882 he has been a merchant at Johnson City. With his stock of about $4,000 he does a business of about $15,000 annually, as one of the leaders. September 2, 1880, Hassie Nelson became his wife. She was born in this county March 4, 1856, the daughter of Col. P. P. C. Nelson, a State senator for three terms, and speaker to fill Mr. Center’s unexpired term. He was also quartermaster of the Eighth Tennessee Cavalry, and died in May 1880. Our subject and wife are Methodists, and they have had three children born to them.
J. F. Copp, the subject of the following sketch, is one of the most prosperous farmers in the First District of Washington County, Tenn., and was born in said county April 21, 1850, and is the son of Peter and Mary (Burgner) Copp. The father was born in Washington County, Tenn., in the year 1818, and is the son of Jacob and Mary (Walter) Copp. Jacob was born in Shenandoah County, Va., and was of German lineage. He removed to Tennessee from Virginia in the early settlement of East Tennessee, and was a farmer by occupation. Our subject’s father is also a farmer, and resides in the First District, Washington County, Tenn., and is in an advanced age. He has been a successful farmer, and is a universally respected citizen. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and is possessed of a zealous, religious spirit. The mother of our subject was born in Greene County, Tenn., in the year 1827, and is the daughter of Peter and Eva (Broyles) Burgner. She is the mother of three sons and one daughter, all living, viz.: William C., Jacob E., Eva E. and James M. She is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, a kind and intelligent woman, and an affectionate mother, loved and esteemed by all who know her. Our subject was reared on the farm and educated in the country schools. He has devoted most of his life to farming but has been engaged in merchandising. He has been successful in his undertakings, and now owns and cultivates a fine farm of 200 acres, situated in the valley of the Nolichucky River. In 1873 he married Mary E. Walter, daughter of Peter Walter. One son, Bruce B., and one daughter, Birdie Beatrice, blessed this union. The mother died in 1879, in the twenty-fifth year of her age. In 1881 our subject married for his second wife, Catherine M. Painter, and two children, Flora M. and Fornie E., have blessed this marriage. Our subject is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and in politics is a Democrat.
J. W. Crumley, chairman of the county court, was born in Sullivan County, near Bristol, February 28, 1856, the son of E. S. and Rachel C. (Sells) Crumley, the former born in the same county, the son, Daniel W., a trustee and sheriff of that county for several years. Our subject’s father was a tanner, but at Johnson City he engaged in the hardware business, and died in 1876. The mother, born about 1837, in the above county, was a daughter of Samuel Sells, and sister to the present sheriff of her native county. Our subject was reared in a small town until fifteen years old and finished his school days at Bristol and Johnson City. In 1873 he learned tinning and soon engaged in the business with his father. In 1884 he became justice of the Johnson City District and afterward corporation magistrate, which he now holds. In January, 1887, he was elected chairman of the county court, over one of the best chairmen that county ever had, and also he was the youngest member. In 1886 he was an unsuccessful candidate for representative. In 1887 the State Temperance Alliance appointed him chairman of the county executive committee. In 1877, Mary C., a daughter of A. F. Gregory, became his wife. She was born in Virginia, and died in 1878, leaving one child, Edward M. S., born in March, 1878. He and his wife were both Methodists, but she had been a Presbyterian.
James W. Deaderick, ex-chief justice of Tennessee, at Jonesboro, was born there November 25, 1812, the son of David and Margaret (Anderson) Deaderick, the former born in Winchester, Va., in 1756, the son of German parents. When eighteen years of age he was paymaster in the Continental war. He then soon came to East Tennessee and was the first merchant in Jonesboro, and became wealthy and died in 1823. He represented Washington County in the Legislature at an early date, and his strict integrity made him highly esteemed. The mother was born in Delaware. Six of her brothers were officers in the Revolution, and one, Joseph, became the first Federal judge appointed for Tennessee, and two others became Congressmen. She made her home with her sister in this county, where she married. She died in 1856 in Jonesboro. By the father’s previous marriage he had one child, Dr. W. H., a well known physician in East Tennessee, who died at Athens. Our subject, the youngest of six children, was reared in Jonesboro, and afterward entered Washington College and when about sixteen spent two years in East Tennessee University at Knoxville. He also attended Center College, Danville, Ky., and in 1832 returned to Jonesboro and married. He then became a merchant at Cheeks Cross Roads for eight years, and then returned to Jonesboro and read law under Judge Lucky, and was admitted in 1845. In 1851 he became a Whig representative in the Legislature, and after the war resumed practice. In 1870 he was elected to a place on the supreme bench, and at the death of Judge Nicholson was made chief justice, and re-elected in 1878. After two terms he voluntarily retired in 1886, and returned home to Jonesboro. In 1832 he married Adaline, a daughter of Dr. Ephraim McDowell, the first physician to introduce ovariatomy, and to whose memory the physicans of Kentucky erected a monument at Danville, May 14, 1879, and published a memorial of him. Our subject has had ten children, but one deceased. His wife is a granddaughter of Gov. Shelby, of Kentucky.
James E. Deakins, farmer, was born in Washington County, December 15, 1827, the son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Beard) Deakins. The father was born in this county about 1795, the son of James Deakins, of English lineage. The father died about 1855, a successful farmer, and the mother, a daughter of a Mr. Beard, also English, was born in 1792, in Washington County. She died about 1849, a member of the Baptist Church. Our subject, the only one living of two sons and two daughters, grew up accustomed to country life, and enlisted in Company E, Eighth Tennessee Cavalry, and afterward was a recuriting officer. He became captain of company H, Eighth Tennessee Cavalry (Eighth and Tenth consolidated), and was a major when he resigned, June 10, 1865. He then served four years as circuit clerk. He now owns a farm of 120 acres. In 1852 he married Elizabeth Smith, a daughter of John Smith. Their living children are William H. C., John C. and James S. A son and daughter are deceased. The family are Baptists, and politically Republican.
Valentine DeVault, farmer, was born February 16, 1822, in Washington County, on the Watauga River. He began as a farmer when twenty years old, and now owns a farm on 350 acres, where he lives, and an orange grove in Florida. November 17, 1857, he married Edna, a daughter of George and Elizabaeth Hannah, natives of Roanoke County, Va. Their children are: John C. (deceased), George V., William W. and Robert D. Both are Methodists, and he is a Democrat. He has been a school commissioner six years. His parents were Valentine, Sr., and Susannah (Range) DeVault, natives of York County, Pa., and this county respectively, and were successful in their farm life. The father was an able business man, and a member of the Lutheran Church. Henry and Catharine M. (Graves) DeVault, natives of France and Germany respectively, who after their marriage came to America, and settled in York, Penn., where they reared a large family. Some remained in Pennsylvania, some went to Indiana, and some to Tennessee, but all are now deceased. The mother was a daughter of Peter Range, one of the earliest settlers of this county.
A. S. N. Dobson, M. D., was born in 1840 in Greene County, near Tusculum College, from which he graduated in the classical course in 1862. In 1875 he graduated from the medical department of Vanderbilt University, and first began practice at Felicity, Ohio, where he remained three years, during which time he taught school two terms. He then came to Broylesville in September 6, 1866. He began for himself when twenty-two years of age, and now owns a fine farm of 300 acres. In 1863 he was conscripted in the Confederate Army, and served six months, although a Union man in sentiment. He was captured at Cumberland Gap by Gen. Burnside’s command, and taken to Camp Douglas, Chicago, Ill., and released upon proof of his loyalty. December 28, 1863, he married Nannie J., a daughter of David R. McGaughey, a native of Greene County, and deceased in Indiana when his daughter was but six years old. Her grandfather then brought and reared her in Tennessee, and gave her a scientific education at Greeneville Acadey. Their children are Eugene (deceased), Minnie L., Fred F., May K., Roy C., Dean N. and Jessie N. The family are Presbyterians, and he has been a ruling elder for twenty years, and is now clerk of the session. He is a Democrat, and in 1884-85 represented his county in the Legislature. He is a Knight of Honor. His parents, Isaac C. and Lucinda (Buchanan) Dobson, were natives of Washington Counties, both in Tennessee and Virginia. The mother came to Tennessee in 1830. The father, served as revenue collector of Greene County for three terms, and was justice of the peace. They were of Scotch Irish origin. He was an able informed man, and a farmer and trader. Silas and Margaret (Copeland) Dobson are the next ancestors, natives of Blount County, Tenn., respectively; the former a farmer, and a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church. Isaac was also a ruling elder. Robert Dobson, a native of Scotland, was the next direct ancestor, and came to America when a young man, settled in North Carolina and afterward in Tennessee. The mother was a daughter of Andrew and Margaret (Vanlier) Buchanan, natives of Pennsylvania, and of Scotch origin. The Buchanan family, including President James Buchanan, have been noted for literary attainments. Three brothers settled in Tennessee. Our subject resigned the office of representataive to accept that of examining pension surgeon, his present office. He has been a trustee of Washington College about twenty years. Maj. John McGaughey, the grandfather, was one of the convention that revised the State constitution of 1835, and was a member of the General Assembly for several terms. He was a leader of the Democracy, and a major in the war of 1812. He was one of the original directors and active in the construction of the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railway. He was an orator up to the time of this death, at the age of eighty-two.
Col. Robert H. Dungan was born in Smyth County, Va., September 18, 1834, the son of James B. and Sallie (Gollehon) Dungar, both of whom were born in the same locality as their son, the former on February 14, 1813, and the latter January 3, 1813. James, the father, was the son of John B. Dungan, who was a native of England. He immigrated to America at an early date, and settled in Virginia. James was a farmer by vocation, and died in his native county on December 27, 1865. He was an orderly sergeant of Company D, of the Forty-eighth Regiment of Virginia Infantry, and served throughout the war. The mother was born January 3, 1813, the daughter of Robert Gollehon, a native of Ireland. She died November 18, 1854. Both parents, were members of the Baptist Chruch, and were married September 19, 1833. Our subject was reared on the farm, and attended Liberty Academy a number of years, completing his education at Emory and Henry College. He left college to enter the Confederate Army, joining on April 9, 1861, Company D, of the Forty-eighth Regiment of Virginia Infantry, of which he was elected first lieutenant at the organization of the company. At the reorganization at the expiration of the first twelve months, he was elected captain of his company, and in 1862 was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of the Forty-eighth Regiment, and during the year was promoted to colonel of the regiment. He served throughout the war with distinction, participating in the many campaigns of his regiment. At Cedar Run, Va., he was wounded in the foot, losing a toe; at the Battle of the Wilderness he was wounded in the hip, and at Chancellorsville he was struck by a glancing six-pound ball on the chest, which wounded him severly and confined him for three months, and came near proving fatal. He was in the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, upon the morning of which he came near losing his life. He was ordered out with 150 sharphooters to feel the enemy, and the Federals, having no sharpshooters out, the colonel, with his gallant little band, was almost with in the lines of the enemy before they were aware of their presence. A murderous fire was opened on the sharpshooters, killing and wounding a number of them, the balls from the enemy’s guns cutting away almost every twig and blade of grass near. On the last day’s battle at Gettysburg he commanded his brigade, he being the ranking officer, as his superior officers, four in number, were either killed or wounded. He also commanded the same on the retreat. He was paroled at Appomattox, and returned to his home in Virginia. He then taught school for one year in Virginia, and then removed to Jonesboro, and purchased the Baptist Female Institute, and established the Holston Male Academy, which he conducted for nine years, making a decided success of that institution. In 1867, while teaching, he was presented with his diploma from Emory and Henry College, in company with others who had left that college for the war. He sold the school property in 1876, and engaged in the lumber business at Jonesboro, which he has continued up to the present, meeting with success. He is a member of the K. of H. Lodge, of which he is Dictator, and of the Baptist Church, of which he is a deacon. He is a man universally respected and esteemed by his fellow citizens. He was married February 16, 1865, to Sue V. Baker, born in Smyth County, Va., on December 27, 1846, the daughter of Eli J. and Leah Baker, the former deceased. She is a member of the Baptist Church.
Felix W. Earnest, postmaster, was born in Greene County, Tenn., September 18, 1832, the son of Col. Henry and Kittie (Reeves) Earnest. The paternal great grand-parents and two children, came from Germany to America about 1738, but the parents died on the ocean, leaving the boy and girl orphans at Norfolk, Va., the former being bound to a Mr. Stephens, of Virginia, whose daughter he married, and then moved to North Carolina, and about 1777 became a pioneer of what is now Greene County, Tenn. But one family was west of him on the north side of the Unaka Mountain. They had to depend on the forts for safety. They had five sons and five daughters, who averaged a life of seventy-five years. Henry, the father, was born in 1772, and two of his brothers served in the Revolution, and was with Sevier in the Battle of King’s Mountain. Henry was a farmer and merchant, and was a colonel of mounted infantry in the Indian wars of 1812 and 1813, and our subject has a letter written to his father on June 5, 1813, at Washington, D. C., by John Rhea, Congressman from Tennessee, inquiring of the exploits of Gen. H. Dearborn, commander-in-chief on the American forces under President Madison. He was in the Legislature under Gov. Blount’s administration, when the seat of government was at Knoxville, Tenn. He reared a large family and died in November, 1849. The mother was born in Cocke County, Tenn. Our subject was educated at Tusculum College, and engaged in merchandising in Georgia for a time, and about 1858 entered the law office of Judge J. C. Gaut, at Cleveland, Tenn. reading until he was admitted in 1860. He then practiced at Blountville, Tenn., until 1870, and then removed to Jonesboro. In 1885 he received his present position, and 1863 was elected to represent the First Senatorial District in the Legislature, while absent from home in the army, and was again elected to that position in 1872. In 1862 he enlisted in Company E, Sixty-first Tennessee Infantry (Confederate), and was made quartermaster with the rank of captain, and afterward beacame quartermaster of the brigade. In 1855 Eva T., a daughter of Maj. J. L. Burts, became his wife. She was born in 1833 in Washington County; five of their six children are living. Our subject has been a Methodist since boyhood, and a member of almost every quarterly district, annual and general conference for thirty years, and was a member of the Baltimore Centennial Conference of December 1884. A very interesting letter in regard to the family’s early connection with the Methodist Chruch by him is given in Dr. J. B. McFerrin’s History of Methodism in Tennessee.”
R. L. Gillespie, the subject of our sketch, is a farmer in the Second Civil District of Washington County, Tenn., and was born in Greene County, Tenn., June 27, 1831, and is the son of Col. Allen and Sarah (Sims) Gillespie. The father was a native of Pennsylvania, born about 1865, and was the son of George Gillespie, a native of Ireland. The father was an early settler of East Tennessee and was a soldier in the war of 1812; his father was a Revolutionary soldier, and was a farmer by occupation. He was a great man for sport, and was universally a respected citizen. The mother of our subject was a native of Pennsylvania, and was the daughter of William Sims, a native of Ireland. She was the mother of six sons and six daughters, and our subject is the youngest of the family, and was reared on a farm and educated at Washington College and Tusculum College. His education is pratical, and he is a man of decisive character and opinion, and is practical and successful in business, and devoted the early part of his life in trading, but in the latter portion of his life has been a farmer. In 1859 he was married to Maria Brown, daughter of Enoch Brown, of Jonesboro, Tenn. Ten children have blessed this marriage, of which two sons and five daughers are living. Our subject is a memeber of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He is a self-made man, and is industrious and enterprising, and a well-respected citizen.
W. B. Glaze, farmer, was born in Washington County, Tenn., in November, 1818, the son of Lawrence and Elizabeth (Humphreys) Glaze, the former a native of this county and a very extensive farmer, who was esteemed by all who knew him. He died in Washington County at the age of sixty-five. The mother was born in Carter County, the daughter of Elijah Humphreys, who became the mother of eight sons and three daughters. She was a noble, christian woman, of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church faith. She died aged sixty-four years. Our subject grew up with the advantage of a country home and school life, and in his early days was a successful trader in the Southern and Western States. He has since been devoted to farming. In 1848 he was married to Elizabaeth, a daughter of James Clark, of Cocke County, Tenn., whose parents were of English and French descent. Our subject has four sons and three daughters. He is also a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The grandfather, Lawrence, and his wife were natives of Pennsylvania and England respectively, the former of English descent. They moved to Washington County, Tenn., when the country was settled by the Indians, and had many stirring adventures with them, until by treaty they were moved from the country. The wife of our subject and eldest daughter are deceased. Our subject has been a man of remarkable strength and energy, and in his early days had many struggles in his efforts to success. He now lives near Limestone, Washington County.
J. L. Grant, a prominent citizen and furniture manufacturer at Johnson City, of the firm of Johnson City Furniture Company, was born in 1847 in Massachusetts. He received a good common school education, and when of age began life for himself. He first learned the stereotypists’ trade in New York City, which he followed three years. He then engaged in farming for four years in New Jersey, and then engaged in the lumber business thirteen years in Pennsylvania. He then came to Johnson City and engaged in the manufacture of sash and blinds with his son, the firm name being Grant & Son. In May, 1886, the Johnson City Furniture Company was organized. The company has enjoyed unparalleled success, not being able to keep up with the orders, even. The aim of the company is to make it the largest furniture manufactory in the country. They employ at present forty hands, and are enlarging the capacity as rapidly as possible. Mr. Grant began life for himself, a poor man, and, by his untiring energy and splendid practical business ability, has become quite comfortable fixed. He was married in 1878 to Miss Cora L. a daughter of N. H. Briggs, a native of Connecticut, but at present residing in Pennsylvania. To Mr. and Mrs. Grant three children have been born: Raymond, Mary and Winnie. Mr. and Mrs. Grant are members of the Presbyterian Church, and Mr. Grant is a Prohibitionist in Politics. He was elected city clerk by a rousing majority, but owing to the pressure of outside duties, did not accept the office. He is the second of five children of Elihu and Amanda M. (Gifford) Grant, natives of New York and Massachusetts, respectively. He served as city clerk at Tiverton, R. I., for many years, and was a minister of the gospel in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a professional accountant. He commanded Company C. Third Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, during the late war, and served nine months. He was a “bedfellow” of Gen. Grant at West Point, where he was attending school. He was a son of Charles and Hannah (Hines) Grant, natives of New York and Pennsylvania, respectively, who afterward moved to Michigan, where they died, being among the earliest settlers of St. John, Clinton Co., Mich. Mr. Grant commanded a company in the war of 1812, and when he died he was ninety years old. He was a son of Charles Grant, who commanded a company in the Revolutionary war. Mrs. Amanda Grant was a daughter of Zacheas Gifford, a native of Massachusetts, where he lived and died. He first learned and followed ship-carpentering but later in life followed farming. He was a very devoted Christian worker in the Baptist Church. He weighed 300 pounds, and died, seventy years old. Mrs. (Weighty) Gifford lived to be ninety-two years old.
John Fuller Grisham, a prominent farmer in the Eleventh District, was born October 31, 1822, in the locality where he has since resided. He began life for himself when eighteen years old. He first engaged in farming. He then taught one term of school at Blue Springs, Bradley Co., Tenn., and one term in Cherokee County, Ala. From there he moved to McMinn County, and in the fall of 1842 he moved back to Washington County, and engaged in farming the following three years; he then followed blachsmithing and school teaching during the next ten years. He was elected justice of the peace in 1860 by the largest majority given any man in the Twelfth District, himself a Whig, and in a District three-quarters Democratic. He was appointed county court clerk, and afterward elected to the same office, and served in all as couty court clerk thirteen years and four months. While serving as county court clerk he was elected as justice of the peace of the Fifteenth District, and served six years. He was a strong Union man during the late war, and is Republican in politics, but was cradled a Whig. He began life for himself, a poor man, and what he is now worth is the fruit of his own industry and practical business ability. He owns a fine farm of 160 acres, where he resides, and besides has given considerable to his children. He was married April 3, 1842, to Miss Louisa Matilda, a daughter of Elijah Carroll, a native of Grainger County, Tenn., but an old resident of Cherokee County, Ala. He was a soldier in the war of 1812 under Gen. Jackson. He afterward moved to Missouri, where he died. To Mr. and Mrs. Grisham six children have been born: George E., killed by accident, was educated at Richmond, Va.; James M., Mary E. (now Mrs. Jacob Bacon), Martha E. (deceased), Amanda E. (now Mrs. Julius A. Stafford) and John A. Mr. and Mrs. Grisham are members of the Christian Church. Mr. Grisham has been a member for about forty yers, and has been a ruling elder about thirty years. He is the fifth of ten children of George and Mary Boone (Hoss) Grisham, natives of the Eleventh and Twelfth Districts of Washington County, respectively. Mr. Grisham was elected the first justice of the peace after the new constitution in 1835, and served six yers. He is a soldier in the war of 1812, in two campaigns. He followed farming, and was a very active Christian worker in the Christian Church, being the first man who ever advocated the Christian Church doctrine in this part of the county. He was a ruling elder in the church about fifty years, and was also a minister of the gospel in the same church. He was a son of John and Nancy Grisham, natives of Maryland, and when quite young came with their parents to Washington County, Tenn. He was a farmer by occupation, and a member of the Christian Church. Mrs. Grisham was an educated lady, and was a very active member of the Baptist Church. They were of English descent. Mrs. Mary Boone Grisham was a daughter of Peter Hoss, a native of Washington County. He was a son of Jacob Hoss, a native of Virginia. Mr. John Grisham was a son of Thomas Grisham, a native of Maryland. Mr. J. F. Grisham represented Washington County in the Legislature one term, being elected by a handsome majority.
Capt. S.T. Harris. The subject of this sketch is one of the leading citizens of Johnson City, and was born at Dandridge, the county seat of Jefferson County, Tenn., March 23, 1842. He was reared and educated in the above place, attending Maury Academy, where he obtained a practical education. During the fall of 1862, in order to escape conscription, he refugeed to Kentucky, not, however, before conscription papers had been served on him by the Confederate authorities. He was an ardent supporter and outspoken friend of the Federal Government, and was commissioned captain to recruit a company, which he succeeded in doing the same year in Nicholasville, Ky., which company, with himself as captain, was assigned as Company D to the Third Union Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Calvary. Proceeding to Lexington, KY., he was at once ordered to return to Tennessee on recruiting duty, and in following orders dropped in with Carter’s raiding party, which burned the bridges at Union (now Bluff City), Tenn. Having orders to proceed to Sevier county, he then started to that point, but was betrayed and captured in Washington County, January 1, 1863, and carried to Knoxville, placed in irons, and confined in jail. Belonging, as he did, to an influential family, who had taken a strong standing for the Union, the Confederates wished to make an example of him, and in a short time after his capture an attempt was made to try him as a spy, but the evidence was so very weak that that plan was abandoned, and he was then tried as a deserter from the Confederate Army, the ground being taken that he had been conscripted, though he had never been ordered into camp, or received pay or emolument, and also that, the State of Tennessee having seceded, his allegiance was due to that State. On that flimsy and shallow pretext he was court-martialed, and sentenced to be shot. About that time Frank Battle, son of Joel A. Battle, of Nashville, State treasurer under Gov. Harris’ administration, was captured by his company, and word was at once dispatched under a flag of truce to the Confederates, that if Capt. Harris was executed, young Battle’s life would be forfeited, he having been captured under similar circumstances. Accordingly sentence was suspended, but he was held in irons under close confinement at Knoxville, for about six months, during which time he made an unsuccessful attempt to escape, and but for the bad aim of the guards would have lost his life, as no less than eleven shots were fired at him, one soldier taking cool and deliberate aim at the daring prisoner. But Providence interfered, and the cap on the gun of the guard merely snapped without discharging the load. At the end of about six months he was escorted through the streets of Knoxville in irons to the depot, and conveyed thence to Columbia, S. C., where for nineteen months he was held in confinement, all the time being kept in irons, with a guard in his cell. While Sherman was on his march to the sea, and just before reaching the vicinity of Columbia, a prominent Confederate soldier was captured, and having been condemned to death by the Federal Army, his friends at once communicated with our subject’s father, telling him if he would intercede for the life of the Confederate prisoner, an exchange would be arranged for his son. The father at once proceeded to Washington, sought an interview with President Lincoln, in which the desired effect was reached, and just before Sherman got to Columbia, our subject was taken from prison, with a number of others, and started on the way for exchange under the fire of Sherman’s shells. The desire to kill him was still strong, however, and the irons were not removed from him, and he was started out on foot to travel a number of miles, so weak he could scarcely stand, and so hampered with the irons that he could not step farther than fifteen inches at a time. After proceeding about five miles, he removed the shackles. An order was then given for the prisoners to advance double quick, and our subject being too weak to obey refused. The officer in charge then ordered him shot, but the soldiers refused to obey. He then proceeded on his way, being half carried by two companion prisoners, to Winnsboro, N. C., where he wanted water which was denied him, and was forced to give $5 for a drink; was paroled there, and from that point went to Charlotte, N. C.; was there branched off to Goldsboro, and after being kept in the courthouse of that place for two days and a night was started out under a flag of truce in the night for East Bridge, near Wilmington, the latter place having been captured by the Federals three days before. The trip was made in a box car, and he arrived with others at their destination, weak, cold and half-starved, more dead than alive, and was once more in the midst of his soldiers. The arrival of the prisoners was most affecting. They were given a warm welcome, and as the poor fellows crawled and scrambled to the old flag and hugged its folds, laughing and crying in a delirium of joy, it was a sight to make the strongest hearts bleed. He next went to Wilimgton, and thence to Annapolis, Md., by ship, where he remained until his discharge, and then returned to Knoxville, and later to Dandridge, having passed through enough to kill an ordinary man and try the courage and fortitude of the most rugged, and reduced by ill treatment, starvation and sickness to almost a skeleton, from which his health was injured so that he has never recovered. In 1869 he purchased a farm in Washaington County, and removed thereto, but in the spring of 1886 removed to Knoxville; the same fall he removed to Johnson City, and is now one of the most prominent, influential and wealthy citizens of that flourishing town. He is a man of pure principles, progressive and enterprising, and enjoys the esteem of all who know him. He is at present engaged in no regular line of business, but is quite wealthy, and is a director in the Mechanics’ National Bank of Knoxville. In July, 1865, he was united in marriage to Sarah E. Hoskins, who was born at New Market, Tenn., January 8, 1846, the daughter of George C. and Charlotte T. (Moody) Hoskins. To this union three children have been born, all of whom are dead. He was engaged to his wife while in prison at Knoxville, and was visited by her while in confinement at the jail in that city, and on the day on which he was to have been executed. Evin Harris, the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a native of England, who immigratd to America during William Penn’s time, and located in the vicinity where Harrisburg, Penn., now stands and for whom that city was presumably named. He immigrated to South Carolina, and thence to Tennessee, at a very early date, and located in what is now Grainger County, of which he was one of the pioneers, and for whom Harris District in that county was named. He stood high in his county, and the Harris family were classed as one of the leading ones of that locality. He married Miss Stewart, of South Carolina, and to that union was born Isaac, the grandfather of our subject, who was born in Harris District, Grainger County. He, like his father, was one of the leading farmers of Grainger County, and married Rebecca Smith, who was also born in Harris District. To this union six children were born, of which William, our subject’s father, was the eldest, he being born February 10, 1814. He was reared on the farm until his thirteenth year, and acquired a practical education in the district schools. At the above age he went to Strawberry Plains, Tenn., and entered the store of Mr. McBee, and later clerked for Ai Thornburgh, at New Market, Tenn. He next entered the store of Shadrack Inman, at Dandridge, where after clerking for a number of years, he married his employer’s daughter, and engaged in business with his father-in-law’s nephew, Shadrack Inman, now of Atlanta, Ga., who is the father of the Inman’s, of New York City, who have made great reputations as financiers and capitalists. Until 1856 he was associated in business with his brother, T. Harris, at Dandridge, and at that time he entered the Dandridge Bank as cashier, and was connected with that institution until it was merged with the Ocoee Bank, of Knoxville, when his connection with the same ceased entirely. Upon the occupation of Knoxville by the Federals during the war, he being an avowed Union man, went through the lines to that city. His wife soon joined him under a flag of truce, and then went to Missouri. Going to New York he quietly engaged in speculating, and amassed considerable money. Returned to Knoxville in 1863, and engaged in merchandising, and continued until the close of the war, and then returned to Dandridge and died August 20, 1884. He was a man of more than ordinary financial ability, and met with phenomenal success in all business enterprises, accumulating considerable wealth. Harriet M., the mother of our subject, was born in Dandridge, February 10, 1824, and is the daughter of Shadrack and Sarah (Henderson) Inman, a niece of Robert Henderson, the noted Presbyterian minister of East Tennessee. To this union three children were born, of which our subject is the only one living.
J. J. Hunt, one of the prominent young merchants of Jonesboro, Washington Co., Tenn., was born seven miles northwest from Jonesboro, December 17, 1853, and is the son of Samuel M. and Elizabeth (Ellis) Hunt. The father was born on Buffalo Ridge, about a mile from the place where his son was born, in 1812, and was the son of Jesse Hunt, who was a native of Virginia, and immigrated to Tennessee, and settled in Washington County, where he and wife lived an extremely long and useful life, one reaching the ninety-fifth, and the other the ninety-sixth birthday. Samuel, the father was a farmer by vocation, and a man of some prominence in his county, and served as justice of the peace the greater portion of his life. He was a member of the Christian Baptist Church, and died March 14, 1868. The mother was born on Boone’s Creek, seven miles northeast from Jonesboro, in 1817, and is the daughter of William and Netitia Ellis; she is a religious and pious lady, a member of the Christian Baptist Church, and now makes her home with a daughter, Mrs. William C. Hale, in Washngton County. Our subject was reared on the farm of his parents, and was educated at Boone’s Creek Seminary, in sight of the spot where Daniel Boone killed the “bar,” and the tree upon which he recorded that fact still stands in sight of the school building After leaving school he entered the merchandising establishment of James H. Dosser & Co., of Jonesboro, as clerk, where he remained for five years, and then on May 5, 1880, he established his present hardware business. He has one of the most complete stocks of hardware, and one of the best arranged store-rooms to be found outside of the large cities, and is meeting with deserved success. On May 5, 1886, he also engaged in the drug business in Jonesboro, and is now carrying it on in connection with his hardware store, though in separate buildings, he has a large line of drugs and fancy goods, carrying upward of $18,000 of stock, and does an annual business of $35,000. He is a public-spirited and progressive young citizen, full of enterprise and spirit, and has always taken an interest in an encouraged all worthy public enterprises, and is also an advocate of public schools and churches, and is a member of the Methodist Church. He has been very successful through life, and now at the age of thirty-two years is at the head of two prosperous mercantile establishments, and is regarded as one of the substantial citizens of Jonesboro, and stands high in the esteem of the public.
Gen. A. E. Jackson, the oldest inhabitant of Jonesboro, was born January 11, 1807, near Nashville, Tenn. He is the son of Samuel D. and Eliza C. (Woodrow) Jackson. The former was born at Carlisle, Penn., September 16, 1755, and was the son of Philip Jackson, a native of Ireland. He served as a lieuntenant in Stark’s regiment in the Revolution, and afterward became a successful merchant in Philadelphia. In 1801, having purchased from Gov. Blount 30,000 acres of land in East Tennessee, and 20,000 acres in Middle Tennessee, at a cost of $25,000 in goods, he came to Jonesboro, but soon after removed to a point midway between Morristown and Mossy Creek, where he erected a log house. Fearing Indian depredations, however, he removed to Middle Tennessee in a short time. He was a relative, and intimate friend of “Old Hickory” but in 1811 the general won 10,000 acres of his best land, on a horse race, and during an alercation concerning the wager, ran him through the body with a cane spear. This difficulty caused a coolness between them, which lasted for several years, but they finally became friends again. In 1811 Mr. Jackson returned to Washington County, and located on a farm on Chucky River, bought of Gov. Sevier. Subsquently he removed to Jonesboro, and for a time was engaged in merchandising. He finally returned to the farm, and lived with our subject. He died May 2, 1836. He was an able and strong willed man, and became wealthy, but lost it all through the failure of Robert Morris, for whom he had become security, for a very large amount. His wife, the daughter of Henry Woodrow, a native of New Jersey, was born in Philadelphia, on September 22, 1764. She was an intimate friend of Mrs. President Madison, and was her bridesmaid at her first marriage. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and died at our subjects present home January 8, 1844. Gen. Jackson was reared at Jonesboro, receiving his education principally at Washington College, as a member of the family of Samuel Doak, Sr. He also attended Greeneville College, and finished his education under Henry Hoss, on Boone Creek. He was a merchant with his father, in Elizabethton, Tenn. for a short time, after which in 1826, he removed to his farm, and later engaged in shipping produce to Alabama. In 1834 he engaged in merchandising, which business, in connection with his boating, he carried on for about twenty-two years. In 1842 he removed to Jonesboro, where four years later he established a store. At this time he agreed to take the products of the Iron Works of Elijah Emory, which, although a great risk, proved a successful one. At Mr. Emory’s death, he removed his stock of goods from Jonesboro to Taylorsville, but still continued his business on Chucky River. Just before the war he engaged in copper mining, in North Carolina, and opened a store in Burnsville, that State; he also had a store in Watauga County, N. C., and one at the mouth of Boones’ Creek, in Johnson County. He was one of the most active organizer and promoters of the construction of the East Tennesse & Virginia Railway, and was one of thirty men forming a company, which took $300,000 stock in the road to prevent a loss of its charter. He also became the financial agent of the road, and in that capacity disposed of $300,000 of State bonds, at the highest price ever paid for similar securities. He was the author of the bill making appropriations for birdges and masonry, and secured its passge by the Legislature, and on more than one occasion saved the road large amounts of money by substituting his own note in place of that of the company. In 1861 he entered the Confederate service, as quartermaster and paymaster, in which capacity he acted for the first two months without commission, and without giving bonds; he remained in the paymaster department until February 8, 1863, disbursing about $10,000,000. On that day he was commissioned brigadier-general, and was soon after placed in command of a military district, including a part of North Carolina, Virginia and East Tennessee, with Thomas’ Legion of 1,300 men, including 300 Cherokee Indians, the sixteenth Georgia Battalion, and Phipps’ Tennessee Battalion, to which was afterward added the sixty-second North Carolina Regiment. In 1863 he cleared East Tennessee of bush-whackers, and during that year, and the succeeding one, had several engagements with various commands. While at Wytheville, Va., on his way to join Gen. Lee, he learned of the surrender at Appomattox, and at once disbanded his troops. After his return home he was compelled to defend lawsuits for pretended damages growing out of the war, involving in the aggregate $390,000, and was indicted for treason in both Federal and State courts, but was finally dismissed. In 1864 he rented Washington Springs, Va., where he joined his fmily at the close of the war. In 1866 he rented a farm, and two years later, became a commission merchant in Knoxville, but in 1871 returned to Jonesboro. In his domestic relations, Gen. Jackson has been very fortunate. On June 8, 1826, he married Serephina, a daughter of Nathaniel Taylor, a brigadier-general in the war of 1812. She was a native of Carter County, and bore him seven sons and seven daughters. She was a Prebysterian, and died on October 27, 1880. Gen. Jackson is an Episcoplian, and is the oldest surviving Confederate general. He is a relative by marriage, and a personal friend, of Jefferson Davis. At the council of Indian chiefs held for the purpose of discussing the cession of their lands in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, he was the only white person present.
John A. Keebler, a farmer and a stock dealer of the Eighteenth District, was born November 9, 1831, in Washington Co., Tenn., where he has since lived. He began life for himself when twenty-one years old, with $1,000 given him by his father, and the balance of what he is now worth is the fruit of his own industry and good management. He deals quite extensively in stock, in which he is very successful. He was married in August, 1854, to Miss Julie Crouch, a daughter of Joseph Crouch, a native of Washington County. To Mr. and Mrs. Keebler eight children have been born: Sarah E., Florence J., Mary, Penelope, Ulyses, John, Samuel and Maud. Mrs. Keebler is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and Mr. Keebler is a Democrat in politics. He is an active Master Mason. He is the third of seven children of James and Sarah (Hawes) Keebler. Mr. Keebler, the father, was a native of Rockingham County, Va., and when a boy, was brought by his parents to Washington County, Tenn. He was quite an active Christian worker in the Christian Baptist Church, and was an old line Whig. He was a very enthusiastic and successful stock dealer and farmer. He was a son of Jacob Keebler, an old resident of Philadelphia.
Samuel Keebler, was born on Kindrick’s Creek, in Washington County, Tenn., August 26, 1804. He moved with his father from Kindrick’s Creek to Limestone (same county), in the year 1838; he has lived at his present home every since. He is a well-to-do farmer, and has made farming a success. He went through with everything he ever undertook, put nothing off till tomorrow that could be done today–this was his motto. He owns much fine land, has a large fine brick house on the farm he lives on, well furnished. There are about 700 acres where he lives, besides this he has about 1,000 acres in different parts of the county (Washington): about 700 of these are the best in the county. He began the battle of life for himself, when about sixteen years old. He belongs to the Christian Baptist Church. He has been an old line Whig, now a Republican. At the present writing he is eighty-three years old, and can see to read common print without spectacles (he has his second sight). He is the youngest child of nine children, four boys and five girls; all are dead but him. Jacob Keebler, son of Jacob and Catherine Keebler, was born October 22, 1765, at Marcus Hook, New Castle Co., Del. Mary Young, daughter of James and Barbara Young, was born about one mile from Marcus Hook, Chester Co., Penn., September 17, 1765. The aforesaid Jacob Keebler and Barbara Young, were married by Edward Varnum, in Chester Town, March 11, 1785. After marriage they moved to Philadelphia, Penn. Two children were born there: Sarah and John. Thence they moved to Berkeley County, Va. Eight years later they moved to Tennessee, and settled on Kindrick’s Creek, Washington County, in 1799. Jacob Keebler was of German descent, and Catharine of English descent. Jacob, Jr., was a soldier of the Revolution in the early part of his life, and, in the latter part of his life, farming was his occupation. James and Barbara Young were of English stock. The former was born September 20, 1736, and the latter May 10, 1733.
W. C. Keezel, farmer, was born in 1842, in Rockingham County, Va., and when fourteen years of age came to this county, where he has since resided. He was educated at Laurel Hill Academy, and in September 1862, enlisted in Company M, First Tennessee Federal Cavalry, as a sergeant. He was captured in 1862 at Mulberry Gap, and taken successively to Knoxville, Libby Prison and Petersburg, where he was exchanged. August 8, 1864, he was captured near Atlanta, and taken to Andersonville, Charleston, Florence, S. C., and Wilmington, N. C., where he was exchanged in February, 1865. He then went to Annapolis, Md., Columbus, Ohio, and then home. He was mustered out at Nashville in 1865. In 1869 he married Mary, a daughter of Enos and Sabra McFall, natives of Carter county. She died in 1873, a member of the United Brethern Church, of which he is a steward, trustee and Sabbath-school superintendent. He is a Republican. He owns a farm of 167 acres. His parents, Enos and Eliza (Carpenter) Keezel, are natives of Rockingham County, Va., the former a minister of the United Brethern Church, and a blacksmith and farmer. The mother died about 1852, and Margaret, a daughter of Peter Plecker, became his wife, and after his death, in 1881, she married again, and now lives in Kansas. Henry was the next ancestor, a native of Keezelton, Va. Our subject has one of the finest springs of water in the country, elevated by a hydraulic ram to his spring house. The spring is fifteen feet below the surface of his front yard.
John Kirkpatrick, the great-grandfather, came from Scotland in the year 1750, and located in Botetourt County, Va., where he married Jennie Wilkins, of Pennsylvania. He was a pioneer of Tennessee about the beginning of the Revolution, settling in what is now Jefferson County. Jacob, his son, and grandfather of our subject, was born in Virginia in 1774, and died in July, 1844. He was a near relative of Maj. Robert Kirkpatrick, who was killed in an Indian fight near Loudon, under Governor Sevier. Jacob married Isabella, a daughter of John White, a Baptist minister who came to America at a very early date. The marriage occurred in 1708. Hugh Lawson White, their son, and father of our subject, was born September 28, 1874, and died August 31, 1852. He married Mary A., daughter of Samuel Chesnutt, son of Hugh, of South Carolina, March 8, 1838. Samuel married Susan Lee, daughter of Thomas and Mary Lee, the former a son of Capt. John Lee, in whose house the first court of Hawkins County was held. He was a near relative of “Light Horse Harry Lee.” Our subject was born in Jefferson County, Tenn., August 21, 1841, and attended Clear Spring Academy, where, on May 1, 1861, he enlisted in the Confederate Army, and was paroled as captain of Company E., Second Tennessee Cavalry, May 5, 1865, at Charlotte,N. C. He began reading law at Jonesboro, under Chancellor Lucky, in September, 1865, and was admitted to the bar in November 1866, and has practiced ever since. He was a member of the constitutional convention of 1870, a member of the referee court, by appointment of the judges of the supreme court, for two years. In October, 1866, he married Dora, a daughter of Henry and Anna M. Hoss, born May 11, 1847. She is the great-granddaughter of Governor John Sevier, and sister of Dr. E. E. Hoss, of Vanderbilt University. They have had nine children.
C. K. Lide, merchant, was born near Athens, Tenn., December 15, 1846, and was educated at Forest Hill Academy. April 1, 1862, he enlisted in the First Tennessee Confederate Artillery, and in 1864 was made captain of the ordnance department. While detailed in April, 1865, he surrendered at Jonesboro, and at the close of the war became a salesman in Memphis for four years. Then he was in the grocery business in Baltimore for six yers. After a sojourn in the West, until 1880, he moved to Knoxville, and in 1884 to Johnson City, engaging in the hardware business. March 28, 1883, he married Albina Worth, of Creston, Ashe Co., N. C. of a noted family of that State. Dr. John W. and Mary E. (Lipscombe) Lide are the parents. In 1740 the Lides (in Welsh, Lehuyd) settled on the Pedee River, in South Carolina–John, Thomas and Robert; John leaving a son, William, the father of John W. Lide, who, after his medical education at Philadelphia, came to Bean’s Station, Tenn., about 1818, when he married Mary E. Lipscombe, of Richmond. He practiced near Bean’s Station a few years, and between 1820 and 1830 he removed to McMinn County, Tenn., and located at Forest Hill to educate his children. He was also called upon to assist in opening up the Tellico Iron Works, to aid the Hiwassee Railway, and in founding the branch Bank of Tennessee at Athens, and many other enterprises. He died at Athens, April 7, 1846. His children reside in various States, our subject being the only one in Tennessee.
H. G. Long, a farmer in the Tenth District, was born, June 3, 1826, in Russell County, Va. He began life for himself when fourteen years old, being the only support of his mother after his father’s death. He began life for himself with only about $300. The balance of what he is worth is the fruit of his own industry and good management. He moved to his present location in March, 1875. He owns a fine farm of 225 acres where he resides, and besides has given considerable property to his children. He enlisted in the spring of 1863 in Capt. Dickinson’s company, Twenty-ninth Virginia Infantry, Confederate States of America, and served until the close of the war. He was dismissed at Lynchburg in April, 1865. He was married, January 31, 1850, to Miss Synthia D., a daughter of William and Tabitha Gibson, natives of Russell County, Va. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, commanding his regiment during that time. Mr. and Mrs. Gibson were of English descent. To Mr. and Mrs. Long nine children have been born: Mary T., Andrew A. (deceased), William G., Elizabeth E.(deceased), Charles N., James B., and two died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Long are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, as also all the children. Mr. Long is a Democrat in politics. He served one term as county supervisor of Russell County, Va., polling the largest vote ever polled in the county. He has served as road overseer two years for Russell County, Va., being the most efficient overseer the county ever had. He was the youngest of five children of Andrew and Mary (Lytton) Long, natives of Russell County, Va. He was one of the most enterprising, successful farmers of his day, and was a very active Christian worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was considered a model man. His sister Anna married a Honaker, who died shortly afterward, and she lived a widow until her death. Mr. and Mrs. Long were of Dutch-English descent. Mr. Andrew Long died about 1831, aged about forty-one. Mr. Long died in 1860, aged about seventy-five years.
J. F. LYLE
J. F. Lyle, a meat merchant at Johnson City, and farmer in the Ninth District, was born in 1849 in Washington County. He was educated in the common schools. He clerked in L. C. Hoss’ general store at Knoxville for three years. He then engaged in farming two years, and then engaged in general merchandising at Morristwon with D. Pence, the style of the firm being Pence & Lyle, where he remained three yers. He sold his interest, and purchased the farm where he now resides. He opened up his meat store at Johnson City in January 1887. He owns a farm of 192 acres where he now resides. He was married, in 1874, to Miss H. Bell Barton, a daughter of James and Mary (McFarland) Barton, natives of what is now Hamblen County. To Mr. and Mrs. Lyle one child has been born–Mary L. Mr. and Mrs. Lyle are members of the Presbyterian Church, in which Mr. Lyle has been deacon four years. He is a Democrat in politics. He is an Odd Fellow. He received some property from his father, but has doubled what he received. He is the eighth of ten children of John and Lucinda (Boring) Lyle, natives of Virginia and Washington County, Tenn., respectively. Mr. Lyle came to Tennessee when thirteen years old.
J. P. Lyle, farmer, was born in 1843 in Washington County, where he has since resided. He was educated in an academy, and when seventeen enlisted in Company D., Sixty third Tennessee Volunteer Infantry (Confederate), and was wounded in Virginia, and captured near Petersburg April 2, 1865, and taken to Fort Delaware, and retained until the close of the conflict. He has since been engaged in farming and brick-making. In 1870 he married Mary I., daughter of James Deakins, of this county. Their children are Rettie, Ralph D., James H., John R., James B., Summers, Zed S. and Rosa C. He and his wife are Presbyterians, and he is a Democrat. His parents are John and Lucinda P (Boring) Lyle, the former a brick-mason and now a man of considerable means. Joseph, the grandfather, died in his native State, Va. The mother was a daughter of Chainey Boring, one of the earliest settlers of this county, and she died in June, 1886.
Ez. Salmon Mathes, farmer, was born in Greenville, S. C., October 13, 1831, the son of Alexander and Orpha Wood (Merritte) Mathes. The father was a native of Washington County, Tenn., and was born August 29, 1800, the son of Alexander Mathes, Jr., whose father bore the same name, and was born March 12, 1740, in Shenandoah Valley, Va. The last mentioned became the husband of Ann Leath, March 21, 1769, and moved to this county when it was a part of North Carolina (1782), and settled near Washington College, where he lived the life of a farmer, until his death in 1806. His wife was born March 8, 1748. Alexander, Jr., the grandfather, was born October 5, 1775, and July 16, 1799, married Isabella Ord. He was a farmer and lived near Washington College until his death, February 12, 1865. The father was a tanner by trade and filled many positions of honor and trust; his grandfather, his father and himself, were successively ruling elders in Old Salem Presbyterian Church, and trustees of Washington College for over one hundred years; the father died February 14, 1884. The mother, Orpha (Wood) Merritte, was born in Greenville, S. C., November 8, 1803, and was the daughter of Wheeten Merritte, whose father came to America with La Fayette. Her children’s names were Alexander, Alfred H., our subject, Sarah I., William E. and John Shields. The mother died June 5, 1879. Our subject’s parents were both Presbyterians. Our subject was educated at Washington College, and has followed farming and trading, and for some time was in the service of the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad Company. November 21, 1853, he married Mary J., a daughter of Dr. W. W. Bovell. She was born in this county, August 9, 1832,; she died May 25, 1886. Their children are William G., born October 24, 1854; Mary E., March 6, 1857; Jane Doak, April 2, 1859; John Alfred, August 20, 1861. Our subject is a Presbyterian; he is secretary of the board of trustees of Washington College, and is a Royal Arch Mason.
John A. Mathes, merchant, was born at Washington College, Tenn., August 20, 1861, the son of Ezekiel S. and Mary J. (Bovell) Mathes, who are mentioned in the sketch of W. G. Mathes. Our subject was educated at Washington College and Jonesboro, and then entered his brother’s store, at the latter place. After clerking a year there, he became a merchant at Telford. He then went to California, and remained two years, but in 1885 returned, and became a partner of his brother, W. G., at Johnson City. The following year he traveled for A. J. Patterson’s mills, of Bluff City, and in 1887 became a partner with Mr. Patterson in a wholesale grocery, grain and provision store, at Johnson City, the first wholesale store of the place. January 6, 1886, he married Lillie L., a daughter of James M. Gentry, deceased. She was born in Ashe county, N. C. September 6, 1868. Her father was a prominent merchant of Johnson City from 1869 until 1880. Our subject is a Presbyterian, while his wife is a Methodist.
William G. Mathes, cashier of the Jonesboro Banking & Trust Company, of Jonesboro, Washington Co., Tenn., and one of the most prominent young merchants and citizens of that place, was born at Washington College, Washington County, on October 24, 1854, and is the son of E. S. and Mary Jane (Bovell) Mathes. E. S. Mathes, the father, was born in Greenville, S. C., October 30, 1831, and is the son of Alexander Mathes, Jr. Alexander, the grandfather, was born at Washington College in 1800, and was the son of Alexander Mathes, Sr., who was a native of Virginia, who immigrated to East Tennessee at a very early date, and was one of the pioneers of Washington County. When a young man, Alexander, Jr., removed to South Carolina, where he married O. W. Merritt, and where two children were born. He then removed to Cocke County, Tenn., and then to Washington College, where he remained until his death, which occurred in April, 1885. He was quite prominent during his day, and filled numerous minor offical positions, among which were those of county surveyor and justice of the peace. E. S. Mathes, the father, was reared at Washington College, and was educated in the College at that place. He resided at the above place until 1863, and then going through the Federal lines remained from the county until 1865; then located at Jonesboro, and filled the position of depot and express agent for the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railway until 1871, and then removed to Washington College, where he now resides on the farm. He was married November 13, 1853, to Mary Jane Bovell, our sujbect’s mother, who was born at Washington College April 9, 1832, and was the daughter of Dr. W. W. Bovell, a native of Washington County, Va. She was the great-granddaughter of Alelxander Doak, the first president and founder of Washington College, the oldest institution of learning west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He was a native of Virginia, and immigrated to East Tennessee at a very early date. A history of this college may be found in another part of this volume. The mother died in May 1866. Our subject was reared at Washington College until 1864, when he went through the Federal lines to Knoxville, and remained until 1865; then returned to Washington College, and a few months later removed to Jonesboro. He secured a good academic education at Washington College, and in the schools of Jonesboro, and began life for himself in 1871 as deputy postmaster at Jonesboro, which position he filled until 1877. In 1874, while in the postoffice, he engaged in the grocery and produce business at Jonesboro, and is still engaged in that business starting on $100 capital, for which he worked at $15 per month, and increasing and building up until he now has one of the leading mercantile establishments in Jonesboro, doing an average annual business of $40,000. He was one of the originators of the banking institution with which he is now connected, which was founded June 10, 1886, and of which he is a director, and was elected cashier from its organization. He is one of the most progressive and successful of Jonesboro’s young citizens. He is broad and liberal in his views, always takes an interest in public affairs, and encourages all public enterprises of a worthy nature. He is full of energy and enterprise, and is universally esteemed and respected by his fellow citizens for his sterling worth and character. He was united in marriage on March 2, 1876, with Fannie C. Barrett, who was born in Richmond, Va., on August 31, 1855, and is the daughter of William S. Barrett. To this union two children have been born, one of whom is dead. Both our subject and his wife are members of the church; he of the Presbyterian, and she of the Christian.
R. M. May, merchant, was born seven miles south of Jonesboro, February 20, 1851, the son of Cassimore E. and Catheine (Bayless) May, the former born in Washington County, Tenn., in 1824, the son of Cassimore, Sr., a native of the same county. The next ancestor, also Cassimore, was a native of Germany, and his father dying when the boy was but ten years old, he was bound out, and accidentally throwing a stone so as to break some slate roofing, a punishable offense, the fourteen-year-old lad tied up his clothes in a handkerchief, and made for America, landing in New York, and working his way to Washington County, Tenn. He was a natural mechanic, and the family now have a padlock which he made, and used to protect his stock from the Indian raids. From him down they have been farmers and blacksmiths, the father also being a tanner. In 1853 the father removed to Georgia, but after the death of the mother the children came back to Tennessee, and from his fifth to his tenth year our subject lived with his grandparents. The father again married, and lives in Washington County, Tenn. The mother was born in 1827, and died in 1856. She was the daughter of Samuel G. Bayless. When sixteen our subject went to Knoxville, where he learned the saddler’s trade. He taught school in Washington County two years, and in 1879 entered a dry goods store, with a salary of $100 and board for the first year, with an increase of salary to $600 a year. In September, 1883, May & Patton (L. H.) was the firm, but since 1885 Mr. May has been alone. He carries a stock of from $5,000 to $6,000 and does about $22,000 worth of business annually. February 14, 1879, Mary E., a daughter of Maj. James E. Deakins, became his wife. She was born in 1856 and died in 1879. Their children are William E. and Minnie E.
Azor Miller, farmer and miller, was born in 1842, in Washington County, where he has since resided, excepting two years spent in Missouri. He began life independently when twenty-five years old, and now owns 384 acres in two different tracts, besides valuable mill property. In 1861 he enlisted in the Eighth Tennessee Cavalry (Confederate States Army), and served two years, and was afterward placed in Morgan’s command and captured on the Ohio raid, being retained at Camp Douglas eighteen months, and paroled in March, 1865. He has been farming and milling ever since. In January, 1870, he married Kate, a daughter of Bryant and Julia (Earnest) Stephens, natives of Virginia, and among the earliest settlers of Greene County. Their children are Rebecca E., Anna B., Nicholas S., Julia, Jacob A., Benjamin R., Nellie and Azor. He and his wife are Presbyterians, and for three years he has been a deacon. He is a Democrat, a Master Mason, and a K. of H. His parents, Jacob and Anna (Clark) Miller, were natives of Washington County, Tenn., and Virginia, respectively, and of Dutch and Dutch-Irish stock. He also was a farmer and miller, and a man of unusual force of character. He was an active worker in the Baptist Church. Jacob, Sr., was the next ancestor, a native of Pennsylvania, and an early settler of this county. He was a farmer and volunteered for the war of 1812, but too late for service.
Samuel H. Miller was born July 18, 1818, within four miles of where he has since resided. He began doing for himself when twenty-three years old, a poor man, and, excepting a small amount of property he inherited, what he is now worth is the fruit of his own industry and good management. He owns a fine farm of about 240 acres, and, besides 120 acres in another farm. He has given his children consideralbe property and a good education. Mr. Miller has never undertaken anything, since he was converted fifty years ago, that he didn’t ask divine guidance, and he has enjoyed excellent success. He was married November 5, 1840, to Miss Eliza A. Range, a daughter of Jacob and Susan (Hale) Range, natives of Washington County, Tenn., where they died, aged respectively about eighty-seven and seventy-three years. To Mr. and Mrs. Miller ten children have been born: Julia (now Mrs. Carr), Elbert S., William P., Susan M. (now Mrs. Carr), Alice E., Peter Q. and Jacob R. (twins). Mr. and Mrs. Miller are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as also is all their living children. Mr. Miller was cradled a Whig, but since the war he has voted with the Republican party in politics, and was a strong Union man during the late war. He served as justice of the peace for six years. He was the eldest of ten children–nine of whom lived to be grown–and five of them are still living, of Peter and Mary (Hunt) Miller, natives of Wahington County, Tenn. He served in the war of 1812 under Gen. Jackson. He was lieutenant of his company. Mr. and Mrs. Miller were active and devoted Christian workers in the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he was the leader of his congregation. He was a man of splendid natural abilities, and was highly respected by all. He was a son of Peter and Elizabeth (Boone) Miller. Mrs. Miller was a cousin of Daniel Boone. Mr. Miller was born in Germany and after coming to the United States, married, and a year later came to Washington County. He had four sons and one daughter. He was a very devoted Christian worker in the Reformed Lutheran Church. Mrs. Elizabeth Miller was a daughter of Susan and Sarah (Crouch) Boone. Mrs. Crouch was born on Boone Creek. The first log house ever erected in this county was built on a portion of the land which Mr. Miller owned shortly after he was married. It was torn down three years since.
J. H. Mongle, M. D., was born in June, 1826, in Washington County, Va., on a farm which has been owned by the Mongle family for 200 years. He completed a classical course at Washington College, and attended lectures at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, in 1847. In April, 1848, he began practice in Washington County, Va., and in February, 1859, he moved to Johnson City, where he has been most successful as a practioner. In 1847 he married Sarah, a daughter of John Wright, a pioneer of Carter County and a minister of the Christian Church. Their children are John A., Thomas N., Mollie C. and Carrie A. All the family, except the daughters who are Methodists, are members of the Christian Church. He is a Republican, and has served several terms as city alderman. He is also a Knight of Labor, and by his practice he has acquired considerable wealth. He was the eldest of seven children of Abram and Rebecca (Hughes) Mongle, the former born in 1795 in Virginia, the latter in 1812 at Blountville, Tenn. The father was sheriff of Washington County fifteen years, and a judge of the county court for several years. He was also a justice of the peace. They were of German and English blood, respectively, The grandparents were Jacob and Mary (Gobble) Mongle. The great-grandfather, a native of Germany came to Lancaster, Penn., then to Hagerstown, Md., and finally to Washington County, Va. Daniel and Frederick, brothers of Abram, were settlers in the Indian forts on the Watauga River.
W. A. Nelson was born in 1846 in Washington County, where he has since resided. He was reared on a farm where he remained until twenty-two years old. He graduated in the classical course at Tusculum College in 1869. He first engaged in teaching school at Limestone seven years, and was the principal spirit in the building of Jonesboro District High School, under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The school is surely a credit to Limestone, ranking with the best in this part of the county. On account of ill health, he was forced to quit teaching, when for the following one and one half years he engaged in farming, and since then he has been engaged in merchandising at Telford and Limestone. He was appointed railroad agent at Limestone, in March, 1880, which position he still holds. The most of what he is now worth is the fruit of his own industry and good management. He is a member of the firm of Nelson & SLoan, hardware merchants. He was married November 17, 1886, to Miss Callie Rorex, a daughter of J. A. Rorex, a resident of Cocke County, Tenn. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mr. Nelson is a Democrat in politics, although prohibitive in principle. He was the seventh of eleven children of George W. and Martha E. (Yager) Nelson, natives of Washington County, Tenn. The father was justice of the peace for about twenty years, and followed merchandising, farming and trading, giving his attention principally to the latter. He built four miles of the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad, and was a director of the railroad about fifteen years. He was a son of William Nelson, who was a native of Virginia, and one of the earliest settlers of Washington County, Tenn. He moved to Polk County, Mo., about 1847, where he died. Mr. George W. Nelson began life for himself without a dollar, and accumulataed considerable property. He was noted for his great energy and splendid practical business ability. When only nineteen years old, he took entire control of “Cranberry Iron Works” of Carter county, which prospered greatly under his management. He was naturally inclined toward the iron business. He was a very public spirited man, especially taking great interest in all educational and religious enterprises. He was a trustee of both Washington and Tusculum Colleges for many years. He was one of the pioneer movers in the building of the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad, in which he took a great interest, making at times great sacrifices for the Company. At his death he owned about 8,000 acres of land. He died October 17, 1881, by injuries received in falling from a second story of his dwelling. Mrs. Nelson died March 16, 1877.
Col. Thomas H. Reeves, attorney at law and farmer, near Jonesboro, was born February 24, 1843, in Iredell County, N. C. At the age of fifteen he came to Tennessee, and located at Fall Branch, fifteen miles northwest of Jonesboro, and entered the Fall Branch Seminary, at that time one of the best schools in the country. This school was broken up by the war in 1861, and having secured a copy of “Scott’s Military Tactics,” he soon displayed such knowledge of the military art, as to cause a demand for his services as “drill master” for the home guards organized by the Union men for home protection. November 15, 1861, several hundred Union men of East Tennessee assembled at Chimney Top Mountain, in Greene County, to organize a regiment for the Federal Army, then in Kentucky. In this organization he was elected captain of a company of eight-six men. This command being without arms, equipments or communication with the Federal Army was soon dispersed, and he made his way through the rebel lines to Kentucky, where he entered the Union Army as a private soldier, in which capacity he rendered service until February 19, 1863, when he was promoted to first lieutenant of Company D, Fourth Tennessee Infantry Volunteers. May 29 he was promoted to captain; August 10, 1864, to major; June 5, 1865, to lieutenant-colonel; and July 29, 1865, to colonel of his regiment, at the age of twenty-two years, being one of the youngest men during the war who passed through all the grades from a private soldier to colonel of a regiment. He was honorably mustered out of service with his regiment August 2, 1865, and studied law with Judge A. J. Brown, being admitted to the bar in August, 1866. On reorganization of the regular army in 1866 he was tendered the position of captain, which was accepted November 23, and he went on duty at New Orleans. From there he went to Ship Island, Miss., as commander of the post, at which place he contracted disability, upon which he was retired from active service June 5, 1868. March 2, 1867, he was brevetted major and lieutenant-colonel in the regular army for faithful and meritorious services during the war. He resides one mile east of Jonesboro on a fine farm of 275 acres, with a magnificent residence surrounded by a beautiful grove of trees. His family consists of wife, three sons and two daughters. His father, Ira Reeves, died in Iredell County, N. C., July 19, 1844; his mother is living in Jonesboro. He has been Master of the Masonic Lodge, Dictator of the K. of H. lodge, Commander of the G. A. R. post, justice of the peace, chairman of the county court, county attorney, mayor of Jonesboro, assistant clerk of the Legislature, and United States marshall for East Tennessee. He is now president of the Jonesboro graded school board, superintendent of the Baptist Sunday-school, and devotes his time and means to promote the interests of both. Col. Reeves is a Republican, and served eight years as chairman of the congressional district committee for his district, and for the same length of time, as a member of the Republican State committee. In 1876 he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention at Cincinnati. He was president in 1886 of the Republican State Judicial Convention, and has the reputation of being one of the best parliamentarians in the State. He started in life without a dollar or an influential friend to help him–working at the blacksmith’s trade from the age of eight years until fifteen, but now enjoys the comforts of life, and attributes all his blessings and success to the Bible promise, “That all things work together for good to them that love God,”
W. R. Reeves was born June 20, 1850, on the farm, where he has since resided when permanently located. He received an academical education, and attended school at Emory and Henry College, Virginia, one term; was thrown upon his own resources when of age, and has always followed farming. He owns a fine farm of upward of 200 acres, where he resides. He was married in 1881 to Miss Mary, a daughter of John A. and Ellen (Teeter) Murphy, natives of Pennsylvania and Washington County, Va., respectively. They were of Scotch-Irish and German descnt. Her father was a prominent and successful physican. To Mr. and Mrs. Reeves two children have been born: Edward Murphy (dead) and Mary Ellen. Mr. and Mrs. Reeves are members of the Methodist Episcopal and Lutheran Churches, respectively, and Mr. Reeves is a Democrat in politics. He has served as recording steward and steward of his class, and has also served as Sunday-school superintendent, and in various ways has taken quite an active part in church work. He was the youngest of eight children of William P. and Mary (DeVault) Reeves, natives of Washington County, Tenn. He was a carpenter by trade, and was one of the best house carpenters of his day. He built the hotel at Limestone Springs, S. C. a very fine building, composed of 110 rooms. He was a very active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he was recording steward about forty yearas. Mrs. Reeves was a member of the same church. Mr. Reeves died August 29, 1885, aged about eighty-two years. Mrs. Reeves is still living, and makes her home with her son, our subject. Mr. W. P. Reeves was a son of Edward and Nancy (Miller) Reeves, natives of North Carolina, and Washington County, Tenn., respectively. He came to Tennessee when about twnety-five years old, where he married. He was drowned in Wolf Creek, Ky., when about forty-eight years old. Mrs. Mary Reeves was a daughter of Valentine and Susanna (Range) DeVault. Mr. William Reeves began life for himself a poor man, and accumulated considerable property by his industry and good management.
Edward Rogan, farmer, was born September 3, 1843, in Sullivan County. He went to Knox County when about thirteen, and attended East Tennessee University. When the war began, he enlisted in Capt. Blair’s Company, of the Sixty-third Tennessee Infantry, in April, 1862, and was paroled at Montgomery, Ala., in April, 1865. He then became a clerk, and in 1868 engaged in business for himself in Sullivan County, Tenn. He continued merchandising until 1878, since which date he has been on his purchased farm. He was also traveling salesman for Lee, Taylor & Co., wholesale grocers, at Lunchburg, Va., in 1884-85, and then for a season he was in the same capacity for Hoar, Morgan & Co., wholesale shoe dealers, at Philadelphia. He now owns a good farm of 265 acres. In May, 1872, he married Isadore, a daughter of John F. Deaderick, a native of Washington County. Their children are Rosa D. (deceased), Carrie L. and Sue D. His wife died November 30, 1883, and January 6, 1886, he married E. R. Deaderick. Both are Presbyterians, and he was a ruling elder one year at Blountville. He is a Democrat. His parents, C. H. P. and Caroline (Powell) Rogan, were natives of Sullivan County. His mother was born in Washington, D. C. His father was notary public at Knoxville, where he was engaged in merchandising up to the time of the capture of that place, when it was confiscated. He became general bookkeeper for the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad, and also acted as paymaster for eleven years, and is now assistant bookkeeper for the company. Daniel and Catherine Rogan are the next ancestors, and were natives of Scotland and the United States, respectively. He died about 1842, ages about eighty-one years, and the mother died about 1846, aged about eighty-two years.
Henry Hunter Ruble, farmer, was born in Washington County, June 23, 1828, being the son of Henry E. and Pheba A. (Hunter) Ruble, the former born in this county June 6, 1797, the son of John Ruble, a native of Pennsylvania. John’s father, Mathias, was born in Germany, probably Bavaria. Henry E. was a teacher and farmer, and died December 2, 1868, in Washington County. The mother, a daughter of Jacob Hunter, was born in this county December 8, 1796. Our subject and two sisters are the only living children of three sons and two daughters. She died August 9, 1876. Both parents were Cumberland Presbyterians. Our subject was reared on the farm, and educated at Washington College, and has long been a successful farmer. On September 14, 1849, he was married to Elizabeth J., a daughter of Edward West. She was born May 26, 1827. They have five sons and six daughters. He and his wife are Presbyterians.
Edward A. Shipley was born in Washington County, eleven miles from Jonesboro, February 18, 1849, the only child of Nathan and Mary (Jones) Shipley, the former born in Washington County, in November, 1822, the son of Enoch, a native of the same county, and in turn the son of Nathan, a native of Baltimore. Nathan was a member of the Legislature, and a surveyor of Washington County for several years, which office the father also held from 1865 to 1881, when he resigned, and now lives in the suburbs of Jonesboro, a representative of one of the oldest and most prominent families. The mother was born in this county in October 1827, the daughter of John Jones, a prominent advocate of the Methodist teaching, although not a minister. Our subject was the only child, and attended school at Fall Branch and Jonesboro until 1869. He entered the Federal lines early in 1865, joining Company I, of the Eighth Tennessee Cavalry, but was not mustered on account of ill health. After the war he farmed and attended school until 1868, when he clerked for J. D. Cox, of Jonesboro, but soon farmed again. In 1870 he became a partner of Dr. M. S. Mahoney, as merchant at Jonesboro, under the firm name of Mahoney & Shipley. In 1874 Dr. Mahoney became a silent partner in the firm of Shipley, Smith & Co. For two years our subject had been deputy circuit clerk, and in 1875 took charge of the office in connection with Mr. Luttrell, the clerk. In 1876 the firm was dissolved, and Mr. L. C. Peoples took Dr. Mahoney’s place. In 1877 our subject became claim commissioner at Washington also, but resigned the same year on account of his home business. In 1878 he was elected county clerk, and re-elected in 1882, and retired voluntarily in 1886. He abandoned merchandising in 1880, since when he has been farming and raising stock near Jonesboro, on a good farm of about 450 acres. He is now secretary of the Jonesboro Board of Education, and is an able financier, whose services vastly improved the finances of the county when he was its clerk. December 4, 1873, he married Jennie R., the daughter of Shelby T. Shipley, born in Jonesboro in 1850. Five of their six children are living. Both are Methodists.
Wendell D. Snapp was born in Washington County, August 27, 1830, and was reared on the farm. He was educated at Washington College and at the law school of Lebanon, Tenn., but, being the only child of an aged father in charge of a large farm, he then remained at home, and has always devoted himself to agriculture, and with marked success. October 15, 1868, he married C. L. Snapp, daughter of John P. Snapp, of Greene County, Tenn. She was born in Greene County June 28, 1844. Their children are Abraham L., John P., Hawkins W. and Rhea McE., born on the following respective dates: June 20, 1870; March 17, 1872; January 30, 1875, and July 22, 1880. He, his wife and eldest son are Presbyterians. He is a trustee of Washington College, and is postmaster ar Brownsboro. Lawrence Snapp and wife, the great-great-grandparents, natives of Germany, came to America, to Shenandoah County, Va., in the early part of the eighteenth century. Their son, Lawrenace, Jr., was born about 1732, and married Mary G., to whom was born Abraham, the grandfather. He married Mary Foglesong, of German lineage, and settled in Washington County, about 1801, on the land our subject now owns. In 1797 Abraham, the father, was born, one of six sons and eight daughters: Lawrence, George, Peter, Joseph, Abraham, Jacob, Catherine, Sallie, Lena, Betsie, Flora, Mary, Patsey and Peggie. The father was a farmer, and October 10, 1826, married Mary Patton, to whom was born Dr. S. T. Snapp, deceased. She died October 30, 1827, and November 3, 1829, he married Matilda Wendell, a daughter of Daniel and Mary (Hawkins) Wendell, and born at Lexington, Va., November 17, 1804. Our subject was their only son. The father died March 31, 1875, and the mother November 8, 1872, both devoted Christians.
G. W. St. John, was born in Smyth County, Va., July 29, 1832, the son of Berry and Hannah (Dungan) St. John, the former born in Campbell County, Va., December 18, 1793, the son of George St. John, of Scotch-Irish origin. The father was an extensive farmer, and died at the age of seventy-six, a member of the Baptist Church. The mother was born in October, 1800, in Smyth County, Va., the daughter of John Dungan; she died at the age of seventy-six years, also a Baptist. Our subject is one of eight sons and five daughers. He was reared in Smyth county, Va., with country advantages, and has always been a succaessful farmer. He lost much that he had gained by trading, through the war, but has since recovered all. He now lives near Carter Depot, Tenn. May 10, 1866, he became the husband of Mattie A., a daughter of John Blair, at Loudon, Tenn. Their children are Frank B., James T. and Lena M. He and his wife are Methodists of the Southern branch.
Benjamin F. Swingle, farmer, was born in Washington (now Unicoi) County, May 11, 1816, the son of George and Mary M. (Haynes) Swingle, the former born in Maryland, in 1779, the son of Leonard Swingle. George is supposed to be the name of Leonard’s father. Our subject’s father was a millwright, and came from Maryland about 1800, and married the daughter of George Haynes in 1807. Their children are Sarah, Leonrad M., George W., our subject, Mary M., Eva E. and Margaret H. The mother, born in 1787, was of German blood, and died april 27, 1844. The father died June 20, 1836. He was a Lutheran and the mother a Methodist. Our subject was reared on the farm and educated at Holston Seminary, New Market, Tenn. He has been a farmer, but has devoted some years to merchandising and milling, as he is a millwright by trade. In 1870 he became clerk and master in chancery and seved two terms. During the war he was in the quartermaster service in the Federal Army. November 13, 1838, he married Margaret L., a daughter of James Cochran of Irish lineage, who was born September 11, 1822, in Greene County, Tenn. Their children are George W. (March 11, 1844), William C. (March 27, 1850), James F. (April 29, 1859) ____, J. J. C. (February 3, 1861), Mary J. (December 1, 1839), and Margaret E. (March 26, 1848). The family belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church.
George W. Swingle is a son of B. F. Swingle, whose sketch may be seen above. Our subject was reared on the farm and educated in rural schools . For eight years in early life he was merchandising in Johnson City and with marked success. He has since been as successfully devoted to agriculture. September 12, 1876, he was married to Elizabeth Cornelia, a daughter of Franklin and Evaline (Vincent) Hunt, who was born in Sullivan County, Tenn., July 10, 1854. Their children are Eva B. (June 21, 1877), Hugh F. (August 21, 1879), Alvin E. (July 4, 1882), and Charles W. (September 27, 1885).
William Tyler, one of the oldest farmers in Washington County, was born there August 5, 1813, the son of William and Nancy (Phillips) Tyler. The father was born and reared in the Shenandoah Valley, Va., and in 1803 settled on the farm once owned by Gov. Sevier. He died in 1820, at the age of seventy-two. His father came from Scotland. The mother was a native of North Carolina, and a daughter of Robert Phillips, of English stock. She was twice married, but our subject was the only son by her first marriage. She died in her ninetieth year, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject was reared on the farm and educated in Washington College, and has since been a successful and able farmer. In 1842, he married Martha, a daughter of Allen Gillespie. The children are Robert, born December 9, 1843, and deceased in the late war; Minerva , born June 17, 1846, the wife of Rufus Claud, farmer, in Washington County; Isabel, born July 21, 1852, the wife of T. A. Kerr, farmer in Colorado; and Madeline, born May 1, 1855, the wife of Ferdinand Ruble, a farmer of Washington County. November 23, 1879, his wife died, and in 1880 he married Cordelia Crumbly, nee Rose. William and Nathaniel T. are their two sons. She died in 1885. In 1886 he married Martha Broyles nee Bitner. Our subject now resides on the old homestead of his father, and is an earnest man whose union feeling makes him hope that the sad experience of the war may perpetuate our Union, and that christianity may Christianize our Government.
G. W. Walter, farmer and merchant, was born in Washington County, on his present farm, November 15, 1844, the son of John and Margaret (Kyker) Walter, the former born in Washington County, Tenn., in 1800, the son of Peter Walter, a native of Washington County. Peter was the son of English parents. The father died in 1862, and the mother, born in 1802, died in 1864. She was a devoted Christian of the Methodist faith, while her husband was a Lutheran. Our subject had the advantages of country home and school life, and has devoted himself to farming and merchandising. He is a self-made man and has been generally successful. In 1866 he married Rebecca J., a daughter of Thomas Ellis, of Greene County, and their children are Catherine L. and William S. The mother died in 1871. Our subject then married Manda, a daughter of Jackson and Lucinda Broyles. Their children are Daniel A., Dorotha A., Marion R., Isaac P., Virgie E., Leona M. and Mary E. He and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In 1862 he enlisted in Company G, Fourth Tennessee Infantry, United States Army, and served at McMinnville (skirmish) where his companay was captured by Wheeler’s brigade, and was also in the Paint Rock campaign. He was mustered out as sergeant. He has since been a merchant and farmer, and is also postmaster at Pilot Hill.
Niles N. Warlick, M.D., was born in Henderson County, N. C., August 28, 1856, the son of Andrew and Lou (Spann) Warlick, the former born in Catawba County, N. C. in 1818, the son of Solomon Warlick, of Pennsylvania, born in 1787, and latter of North Carolina. Andrew is now a successful and respected farmer in Henderson County, N. C., and the mother born in the county in 1828, is the daughter of James Spann. Both parents have been Methodists for over forty years. Our subject grew up in the country and attended Mill’s River High School, and in 1873 began medicine under Dr. J. H. Sinasabaugh in Haywood County, N. C. In 1875-76 he attended the college of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore, and engaged in practice in Washington County, until 1884, when he attended and graduated from Baltimore University (medical department). He had located at Jonesboro and has had a splendid practice, and made a high standing in his profession. July 1, 1886, he also engaged in the drug business, the firm being (Dr. D. J.) Gibson & Warlick. they have a fine stock and prescription department. He has been remarkably successful in both. September 6, 1877, he married Ella, a daughter of William Powell, and born in Hawkins County February 14, 1856. Opie P. is their only child, born June 12, 1878. He and his wife are Methodists.
E. H. West, farmer, is the grandson of Edward West, a native of Virginia, and of English lineage. Edward came to Grainger County, when a young man, and married Elizabeth Humphreys. Of their seven sons and two daughters, Edward, the father of our subject, was the eldest but one, and was born in Grainger County, in October 1797, but when he was eleven years old, his father moved to Washington County where in December, 1880, Edward died. He was a prosperous farmer. In 1824 he married Isabelle Rankin, a daughter of David Rankin, of Greene county. They had five sons and two daughters. Our subject, the third eldest, was born in this county, December 16, 1831, and was reared with the usual country advantages. He began merchandising, when he was twenty years old, in his father’s store, but with the opening of civil war, he went to the Northern and Western States. After the war he settled up his former business, and has since been farming successfully. December 31, 1868, he married A. Eva, a daughter of Col. G. W. Telford, of Washington County, Tenn. She was born in Washington County, February 20, 1839. They have had nine children. Those living are Samuel T., Clara B., Edward T., Mary I., George W. and William A. Our subject is an aggressive worker, and he and his wife are Presbyterians. He is a royal Arch Mason, and a Republican.
James A. West, farmer and trader, was born in Washington County, Tenn., September 9, 1846, the son of Edward and Isabelle (Rankin) West. The father was a native of Washington County, Tenn., born in the year 1798, and was of English descent. He was a successful farmer and merchant, and died in 1880, at the present home of our subject, full of years and honors. The mother was a daughter of David Rankin, and was born in Greene County, Tenn., in 1810, and died in 1883. She was a most exemplary Chrisian woman. Both parents were old school Presbyterians. There were born to them six sons and three daughters, of whom there are now living only three sons and one daughter. Our subject was raised on a farm, and finished his education at Tusculum College, near Greeneville, Tenn., graduating with honor in 1868. Since reaching manhood, he has devoted his life chiefly to farming and trading. He has represented his county in the Legislature twice, with high credit to himself, being elected in 1873, and again in 1883. At present he is chairman of the county Republican executive committee. The county has no better citizen. He is related, on his mother’s side, to Gov. John Sevier. In 1875 he was united in marriage with Emma C. Glaze, daughter of W. B. Glaze. They have two daughters, named Blaine and Belle. Mr. West now owns a farm on 100 acres, near Conkling, Washington Co., Tenn., and is engaged in farming and trading in stock.
Landon White was born July 10, 1844, in the locality where he has since resided. He received a good common-school education. In 1861, when sixteen years old, he enlisted in Company G, Twenty-ninth Tennessee Infantry, Confederate States Army. He served for some time as assistant quartermaster. He was captured at Perryville, Ky., October 8, 1862, and detained as prisoner of war until December 12, 1862, when he was paroled, and afterward exchanged. He began life for himself in only moderate circumstances, and the most of what he is now worth is the fruit of his own practical business ability. He gave his attention principally to farming until June 5, 1886, when he purchased a saw mill in Mitchell County, N.C., which he has since managed in connection with farming. He owns a fine farm of 335 acres of land where he resides. He was married January 5, 1870, to Hannah E., a daughter of James and Mary (Kitzmiller) Hodges. Mr.Hodges is still living, and is in his eighty-sixth year. Mrs. Hodges is still living, and is about seventy-nine years old. The Hodges were of German descent. To Mr. and Mrs. White seven children have been born: Cleopatra, Lula A. and John, Jr. (twins), James L. (deceased), Bessie O., Frank M. (deceased) and Boneta. Mr. and Mrs. White are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and Mr. White is a Democrat in politics. He is a Master Mason. He is the eldest of five children of John and Catherine (Walters) White, natives of Washington County, Tenn. The father was justice of the peace six years, and was one of the directors of the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad from the time it was built until he was physically incapacitated for the duties of the office. He was a man of untiring industry and great energy, and was successful in everything he undertook. He was quite an active Christian worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church about two years, the he joined the Missionary Baptist Church, to which he belonged until his death, which occurred March 9, 1866, aged seventy years and eleven months. Mr. White was of Irish and Mrs. White was of German descent. He was a son of James and Anna White, natives of Virginia, and Washington County, Tenn., respectively. Mr. White came to Tennessee when two years old–about 1873. He was justice of the peace for upward of twelve years, and gave universal satisfaction in the discharge of the duties of his office. When he first settled here the only cleared spot of land in this part of the country is now a part of Mr. Landon White’s farm. He was one of the pioneer members of the Baptist Church in this whole country, being a very active and devoted member of that church. When he died he willed $300, the annual interest of which was to go toward the support of the pastor of the church to which he belonged. He died January 1, 1866, aged eighty-four years. Mr. Landon White has for several years taken quite an active interest in the development of the educational advantages of his locality, and has served as school director for several years.
Thomas J. Wilson, one of the oldest citizens of his native county, was born in Washington County May 24, 1811, the son of William and Abbey (Waddill) Wilson, the former a native of Greene County, and the son of William Wilson, a native of Ireland. He was a farmer and trader. The mother, a daughter of John Waddill, was born in this county. Of her nine sons and one daughter, five of the former are deceased. Our subject was reared on the farm, and educated at Old Salem, and for twenty years he was in the iron business, in the employ of Elijah Embree, of Wahsington County, and afterward manufactured edge-tools at his present homestead, up to the time of the war. Aside from that he has been devoted to agriculture. October 3, 1833, he married Eliza, a daughter of Elihu Embree, a gentleman of English origin. Their children are Elihu E., William, Elijah E., James M., Susan M., Ester E., Thomas J. and Albert W. Mrs. Wilson died February 15, 1887. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject is also a Methodist, and a highly respected man.